I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as hyped about a gig as I am for tomorrow night. If there’s a disco heaven, then the RBMA v Lovebox special is definitely spinning a tune or 10 inside those pearly gates. Helmed by Nile Rodgers & Chic, the line-up includes Derrick Carter (doing disco again!), DJ Pierre and Seth Troxler, presenting “a sensational musical journey charting the lineage of the electronic dance music of today back to the sounds of ’70s New York City Disco”. And all in the reasonably intimate surrounds (for Chic at least) of the 2,000-capacity Forum.
But the person I’m most excited about seeing is the person who comes second to last on the poster, a man whose musical tastes so closely mirror my own it’s like he is my New York disco brother from another mother: Nicky Siano.
All of the publicity around the RBMA gig has him credited as “Nicky Siano (Studio 54)”, but this wasn’t the club where he made his name. In fact, he lasted just four months there before being given the sack – on the night he dared to play Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express.
“I played the Kraftwerk, and at the end of that night Steve [Rubell] said, ‘I don’t think you’re right for Studio any more’… I was playing alternative music in an alternative manner, and they weren’t down for that… Everything was clean, everything matched, everything was high-tech and that fucking ruined it.”
Where Nicky made his bones was The Gallery, the hottest club in early/mid 70s New York where Nicky fine-tuned the art of blending records and set the room on fire. As one devotee says in Tim Lawrence’s excellent book Love Saves The Day (yes, another plug – read it), “Nicky was the king of the DJs – he was so fierce he could put on a record and people would just scream.”
I’m toying with the idea of taking a record, or at least a sleeve, to get the maestro to sign it, but carrying it around all night seems like a bit of a drag. But if I could be fagged, these are the records I’d take to get the great man’s mark (and ones I hope I hear tomorrow night).
and of course:
(The disco odyssey continues next week with (hopefully) David Mancuso at the Loft. I feel rather blessed this summer.)